Neonatal and infant beta cell hormone concentrations in relation to type 1 diabetes risk

Christian Stumpp, Andreas Beyerlein, Anette Gabriele Ziegler, Ezio Bonifacio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Type 1 diabetes is preceded by the appearance of islet autoantibodies. Seroconversion to islet autoantibodies is greatest around 1yr of age and is more frequent in children born to fathers with type 1 diabetes as compared to children born to mothers with type 1 diabetes. Here we asked whether changes in beta-cell function in the neonate and infant reflect variations in the incidence of islet autoantibody seroconversion. Insulin, proinsulin, and c-peptide concentrations were measured in sequential samples taken from birth to age 2yr in 103 children who had a first degree relative with type 1 diabetes and who had been followed for islet autoantibody seroconversion. Serum insulin and proinsulin concentrations were highest at birth declining by age 3months and stable thereafter until age 2yr. C-peptide concentrations, proinsulin/insulin, and proinsulin/c-peptide ratios were stable from age 3months. No differences were observed between children who developed islet autoantibodies and children who remained islet autoantibody negative. Children born to a mother with type 1 diabetes had higher birth concentrations of insulin (p=0.005) and proinsulin (p=0.014) as compared with children of non-diabetic mothers. Increased insulin concentrations in children of type 1 diabetes mothers persisted until age 6months. In conclusion, we could not relate excursions in beta-cell hormones to autoantibody development, but suggest that the higher exposure to insulin and proinsulin in neonates born to mothers with type 1 diabetes may be linked to the relative protection against islet autoantibody seroconversion observed in these children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-533
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Diabetes
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoantibodies
  • Insulin
  • Proinsulin
  • Type 1 diabetes


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